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Ferrari Sitting In The Weeds


Here’s one for our readers located in the UK. This 1981 Ferrari 400i has been parked since 2000 with only 60k miles on the odometer. The seller claims to have documented history and it does run. It is going to take a lot of money to get this one back into top shape though. So if you like the idea of having a front-engined V12 Ferrari in the garage and you also have some money to burn, take a look here on eBay where bidding is currently at £5,000. Thanks goes to Simon W. for the tip.


The sight of this fuel-injected V12 can be intimidating for even the most experienced backyard mechanic. Too bad because having this thing serviced is going to cost a fortune and might not make sense financially. The 400 is typically not a favorite among collectors, so they have not appreciated as much as their two-seat stablemates.


This four-seater was a powerful GT that was ready to carry four people at high speeds for long periods of time. Unfortunitly, this one has not moved much in the last decade so it is going to need a lot of work before you can storm around Europe. The seller mentions some rust, so we are sure there is even more lurking under the surface and with a little over 1k ever produced, good luck finding parts. The idea of traveling around in a Ferrari may sound like a lot of fun, but you might be better off just purchasing an airline ticket…


  1. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Despite having a big V12 engine and room for four in high speed comfort, this is one of the least desirable and valuable Ferraris out there. These cost about as much to R&R as the more sporting and far more desirable Enzo-era Ferraris since labour costs are the same and many parts are just about unobtainium now, unfortunately. A few places like Ferrari of Atlanta have batches of components made up for their parts stock sometimes, which helps to keep them on the road, but they don’t end up being cheap. And the fact that this one has the auto transmission won’t help it.

    For a 4-place Ferrari I’d go for a 308 GT/4 instead, even if only young children or groceries will fit in back.

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    • Avatar photo Gregory

      Scary….but still kind’a cool …. It’s still a Ferrari and we all know about the unloved Dino.

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      • Avatar photo Jesse Staff

        True Gregory. I still remember when people didn’t look at the Dino as a real Ferrari. Then I blinked and all of sudden they are selling for crazy money at auction. You never know.

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      • Avatar photo Dolphin Member

        Call me crazy—and many have—but I prefer the GT/4.

        Most people don’t like the folded-paper body, but in an era of jellybean bodies I see it as pure Bertone, and even vintage. The least that can be said is that it was the start of a great line of modern Dinos, or ‘affordable’ Ferraris if you prefer. And they have a fabulous dash and a not bad interior, plus room for groceries, dogs, and other essentials in back.

        When Paul Frere first drove one in Europe for R&T around 1974 he said that “It soared right up to its 155 MPH top speed”. That’s what only 255 Euro horses will do in a small car. A drive around Rd Atlanta in one confirmed that for me. And the sound was fabulous.

        The GTB/S went to 2-seats because that was more sporty I guess. The problem with this is that the wheelbase was shortened significantly from the GT/4, and the car has way too much overhang front and rear. Owners say the GTB/S are less stable and less well balanced than the GT/4 and that they don’t handle as well as the GT/4.

        Some people are recognizing these things, and these are appreciating now, as Jesse said.

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  2. Avatar photo jim

    seller has 9 vehicles listing on ebay right now. the other 8 have picture backgrounds that are the same or close to same. then there is this one out in the weeds with what looks like a battery stored under it. i think there is a lot more we do not know about story on this car. but with a ton of work this might turn out to be a nice car.

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  3. Avatar photo Jeff

    The Mondial convertible of the 80’s would be a better choice, IMO….

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  4. Avatar photo Connor

    I live in the uk and I’m thinking of bidding on this for the main reason of how often do you see one of these and I know it might seem to be in a rough shape with some money and some work you will have a real head turner

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    • Avatar photo Jesse Staff

      Let us know if you win the auction. It would be interesting to follow this one and see what happens.

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      • Avatar photo Connor

        Unfortunately I didn’t win the auction as the reserve was not met.
        It’s a shame as I would have loved to have this car for a project and it would have looked brilliant restored.
        I suppose, as it says about Jesse ‘he realized that he couldn’t buy them all’ is definately true

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  5. Avatar photo William Robinson

    The side profile kinda reminds me of a chevy cavilier.

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    • Avatar photo stuart

      Hehehe, william’s comment made me laugh…I was thinking some kind of mid-range pontiac…engine would make a nice coffee table (I should know, I have a jag 4.2 liter v-12 block in my workshop!!!)

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  6. Avatar photo Notch

    If this is in front of the garage then can we see whats in the garage!!

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  7. Avatar photo Horse Radish

    As pointed out above.

    For me these were the better looking ones after 1980.

    Step 2: If you’re just gonna park it in YOUR driveway as seen here and “keep up with the Joneses”, then this would work for a couple of months.
    Until the first neighbor gets curious enough to muster up and ask how it sounds running…….
    THEN you get to step 1

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    • Avatar photo Horse Radish

      I looked at the bids:
      First bid was 2 1/2 minutes after listing came out (with minimum bid .99 pounds).
      Zero feedback buyer blasted it with 5000 pounds bid (probably phoney bid),
      Then comes a handyman/tinkerer and throws in 8 bids to arrive and tie the 5000 pounds.
      He ends up tied , but still in second place.(Earlier bids get preference).
      So, that was yesterday (44 hours ago).
      A 5,100-pounds-bid puts you in the lead !!!
      yooohoo !

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  8. Avatar photo Jim-Bob

    I’m a little odd, but I have always liked the way these looked. The proportions were good and the lines worked far better than they did with the Mondial or 308 GT+4. If I were to own it, I would be tempted to figure out a way to adapt a manual transmission to the V12. I’m not intimidated by the thought of having to go through it from a mechanical standpoint, but the cost of parts would be what would scare me. I figure it’s a mechanical thing and I could sort it-so long as I could get a set of factory service manuals. If the engine turned out to be beyond economic repair, I would likely put it aside and install something else that takes a TH-400. Perhaps I’d choose a Cadillac 500 (not that heavy if you use an aluminum intake), or even some sort of diesel Chevy truck engine, just to piss off the purists. I’d make certain though that nothing was hacked up or cut to keep it from being returned to original should the value of these cars improve.

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